A new report from games and esports market research and analytics firm Newzoo outlines major trends in the blockchain and metaverse space it expects to see in 2022. Among the predictions made in the report is that NFT companies will turn into their own form of luxury and lifestyle brands.
The report expresses the belief that social media influencers will help extend the reach of the NFT space to a broader public.
One example cited in the report is the popularity of Bored Ape NFT collections like the Bored Ape Yacht Club among celebrities like Post Malone, Snoop Dogg and Logan Paul, each of whom advocate for the collection to their massive social media followings (Post Malone: over 22.4 million Instagram followers; Snoop Dogg: over 67.2 million; Logan Paul: nearly 22 million.)
Recently, Paris Hilton showed off her Bored Ape NFT collection on Jimmy Kimmel Live! as did the host himself. In so doing, each one of these celebs is both lending and upping their clout among fans. Never mind that much of the initial fan reaction was ridicule; these stars are playing the long game.
Meanwhile, social media platform Twitter now allow subscribers to its elite Twitter Blue platform to display their NFT collections on their profiles. This allows Twitter to monetize NFT aficionados while exposing NFTs to a broader swath of the public.
The exposure crypto twitter influencers and social platforms like these provide will drive up the demand for NFTs, particularly among the uber-wealthy, turning them into a form of luxury goods themselves.
This phenomenon, according to Newzoo, very much resembles how the fashion industry operates. In this new reality, NFTs may act as “status symbols” appealing to like-minded people and the general public.
Newzoo also anticipates fashion brands will be among the first luxury goods industries to benefit from the metaverse.
The popular partnerships the gaming platform Roblox has with fashion brands like Nike and Ralph Lauren provide an example of how brands can thrive in the era of the metaverse.
Gamers can use in-game currency to purchase “skins” for their player avatar to wear; these skins can be Nike sneakers, a Ralph Lauren jacket or any other piece of branded wear. In a similar manner, luxury fashion brand Balenciaga paired with the popular game Fortnite to simultaneously launch new virtual skins and their IRL counterparts.
While high-fashion clothing and cosmetics may be priced well out of many would-be customers’ reach, the digital versions of those items in a metaverse like the world of Fortnite costs much less; yet, the clout they confer is nowhere near as diminished.
Within metaverse platforms, brands can elicit awareness they can, then, pair with real-world products. In this way, consumers can identify with those brands virtually and IRL alike. As long as brands continue to ensure that people value physical products, they can, at the same time, extend their audience reach into the vast gold mine of metaverse markets.
Newzoo released a similar report recently predicting similar changes in the esports industry in the year ahead, including the mobile esport space’s persistent growth.